MIA exhibit reinserts African and Native Americans contributions

Alex Bortelot, chief content strategist at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA), explains that its Charleston Drawing and Dining Rooms, along with the 16 other interiors that the museum has on display, is “Mainly about the history of decorative arts.” Art, however, is not created in a vacuum. There are always cultural, social and political components to it.

African Artifacts in the Charleston Dining and Drawing Room

The staff at MIA are attempting to make the artifacts on display more meaningful by revealing deeper truths about the people who lived in the 18th century home and plantation of Colonel John Stuart, superintendent of Indian Affairs for Britain’s southern colonies and owner of enslaved Africans.

Says Bortelot about the exhibits prior to the upgrade, “The effect was telling…

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